According to Fox News, Gen. John Nicholson is the official who made the decision to drop the “mother of all bombs” (MOAB) on a series of network tunnels belonging to ISIS in Afghanistan, and he says he did it without needing approval by the Oval Office.
This comes as an answer to reporters’ questions on Thursday, when Trump was asked during a meeting with I-85 First Responders if he had authorized the strike.
“We have given them total authorization. Frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately,” he replied.
Speaking Friday morning in Kabul, Nicholson defended his decision to order its use, saying this was the right bomb and the right time to use it.
He said the U.S. had persistent surveillance over the area “before, during and after” the operation, and they see no evidence of civilian casualties.
There are under 1,000 ISIS fighters in eastern Afghanistan. Nicholson said hundreds of U.S. airstrikes in the past two years have cut the number down by two-thirds.
Senior Airforce Officials say the call to drop the MOAB was a “tactical decision by the commander in Afghanistan,” and had no strategic input from anyone in the Trump administration.
According to officials, 36 ISIS fighters were killed in the attack, while at the same time suffering no confirmed civilian casualties.